Buying or selling a home can be a daunting task, but this can be greatly influenced by your selection of real estate inspector. Today we’ll go over what to look for when choosing a real estate inspector here in Victoria, Texas. This way you can make sure to find the best fit for your situation! Not every inspector is right for every buyer/seller! Sadly, not all inspectors are good at what they do!
Is the Inspector Properly Licensed?
In the State of Texas, all real estate inspectors are required to be trained and licensed by the Texas Real Estate Commission (TREC). Inspectors must go through formal training programs that have been verified by TREC. Part of this training includes a forty-hour ride along with a licensed Professional Inspector that has been approved by TREC for training other inspectors. Texas also has two license types, Apprentice and Professional. An Apprentice Inspector must work under the license of a qualified Professional Inspector. You should know this up front, before getting scheduled.
As part of the licensing process in Texas, Inspectors are all required to provide a copy of their business insurance. Upon each license renewal, Inspectors must also provide an updated copy of their business insurance policy to TREC.
To find out if a Real Estate Inspector is properly and actively licensed in the State of Texas, visit the TREC website. This link will take you to a TREC license holder search for Realtors, Appraisers, and Real Estate Inspectors. Be sure to select “Active” under the license status drop down.
Different Types of Inspectors
Not all Real Estate Inspectors can perform all types of inspections. Most Professional Inspectors in the State of Texas inspect homes. That why you typically hear the title, “home inspector”. However, a smaller more select group of inspectors also inspects commercial properties. They both fall under the same requirements with TREC for licensing. The biggest difference is the qualifications, training, and experience required for commercial inspections. It is foolish for an Inspector to tell you that commercial inspections are just bigger residential inspections. They are absolutely not!
Commercial Inspectors are able to obtain 3rd party inspection certification through the Certified Commercial Property Inspectors’ Association (CCPIA). This program is commercial curriculum-based, and requires testing for certification. CCPIA has a comprehensive standard manual that Inspectors agree to follow. Home inspectors also have a Standards of Practice that must be adhered to, set forth by TREC.
When looking for a real estate inspector, you’ll need to verify they have the proper credentials and experience. Without the proper inspector, you run the risk of wasting your money on the inspection! Purchasing real estate is generally not a cheap venture where inspections are not necessary to protect your investment. In your research for a qualified inspector in the Victoria Texas area, you have several avenues to find who’s good and not.
One thing to avoid is relying only on a Realtor’s list. Some Realtors do not modify these lists often or keep sub-par Inspectors on the list. Some do this because they know the inspector doesn’t do a thorough job, which means less trouble in negotiations or canceling of contracts. If you are surprised by that last statement, you should because it’s un-ethical to do this! Sadly it does happen. Did you know that by TREC rules, a Realtor is not allowed to recommend a single inspector? The rules require a list of at least three (3) inspectors to be on the list, in no specific order, or with any notations of preference!
Green Flags for Inspectors
Once you have a list from your Realtor, word of mouth from a friend or family member, or from a web search for an inspector, it’s time to start verifying they are a fit for you. This can be done very easily these days. Web search that inspector and see what pops up! Good inspectors are easily found and have decent web presence. If they populate on multiple websites and have a business listing, they are already a step in the right direction. If all you see is a Facebook page with no updates or content, or only have a Google/Bing map dot, they are either very new or are not getting much attention for a number of reasons. Here’s some good green flags to look for when searching up an inspector’s reputation and credibility.
- Google Reviews – Does the inspector have past and current positive 5 star reviews?
- Website – Does the inspector have a website with good information and sample reports?
- Social Media – Is the inspector on social media platforms providing helpful and relevant info?
- Search Engine Search Results – Good Inspectors generally will appear in multiple websites
- TREC License Search – All disciplinary actions are also posted on the TREC website! Zero is Good!
- Word of Mouth – Info from word of mouth is powerful. Good recommendations are key!
- Responsiveness – Do they answer the phone / respond to emails? If not, they won’t later either!
- Experienced – What amount of relevant experience do they have?
- Optional Services – Certified and equipped to inspect optional items like water well, septic, sewer, pools, termites, etc
Red Flags for Inspectors
Finding red flags for real estate inspectors is not always easy. The truth is that many inspectors get away with poor inspecting practices for years because most people don’t file complaints with TREC. Sometimes they will just deal with a problem, some will leave a bad post on social media, and some may leave a 1 star review. Realtors are sometimes slow to react to negative comments from their clients because they may not have all the facts or may not work with a particular inspector that often. One complaint doesn’t mean the inspector is horrible. Here are some typical red flags to look out for!
- Negative Reviews – If the inspector has less than 4 stars, or has multiple 1 star reviews
- Responsiveness – When calls, emails, or other messages are not answer or returned
- Lack of web presence – Little to no online presence shows lack of effort
- TREC License Search – No license, inactive, or ones with discipline action showing
- Optional Services – Not having the ability to inspect major systems (water well, septic, termite, sewer, etc)
Getting referrals and doing research is always advisable. Red flags can be tricky because if an inspector is too thorough, he/she will get labeled by Realtors in a negative manner. Of course that’s when you should re-consider the Realtor! As a buyer or seller, you want the most thorough inspection, because that’s what you’re paying for!
When buying or selling a property, please don’t skimp on researching your inspector options! Your inspection money and investment is at risk! The last thing you want is to end up dealing with a lawsuit or fighting your inspector to get an insurance claim filed! There are unfortunately a few around that fit that mold and are active on Realtor lists!
Feel free to check out our other blog posts for more information! Click Here for the blog!
Barrie Inspections is ready to handle all your real estate inspection needs! We have the education and expertise to give you the best value and the most detailed inspection! Call 361-298-0472, email James@BarrieInspections.com, or schedule on our website 24/7 HERE. Barrie Inspections is here to help you!